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Report on effective therapies

The report of the US National Autism Center is little known in Poland.
It is worth learning about it in order to select therapy for children with autism consciously and responsibly.

Dr. Monika Suchowierska, assistant professor at the Department of Psychology at the Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities, spoke about the report at the Center for Behavioral Therapy conference.

The aim of the report was to identify therapeutic interventions for children and adolescents with autism based on evidence-based practices. To determine which therapeutic interventions are supported by credible research, 775 independent scientific publications were analyzed, which were divided into 38 groups of interventions.

As a result, therapeutic impacts were divided into: established, promising and unestablished.

Therapies included in the established ones had the strongest scientific support in terms of effectiveness. Eleven interventions were included in this group. These included behavioral packages, early intensive behavioral therapy, modeling, incidental teaching, key skills training, activity plans, training to teach self-control, etc. The best results using these methods were obtained when teaching new skills and reducing challenging behaviors.

The group of promising therapies included 22 methods, including alternative and supportive communication, cognitive-behavioral therapy, relationship-based therapy, social skills training, structured teaching, interventions based on new technology, therapies based on Theory of Mind Training, PECS, music therapy and scripts.

5 methods were categorized as so-called " non-conditioned": auditory training, the facilitated communication method, gluten-free and non-casein diets, and sensory integration.

We would like to point out that placing these methods in the unestablished category does not mean that they are ineffective. It just means that there are no credible scientific studies confirming their effectiveness.

Summarizing the conclusions of the presented report, it was found that in the context of working with a person with ASD, the most effective results are those methods that are classified as established. Methods from the promising group should be considered as interactions that support the therapeutic process and are recommended as a complement to established therapies. In relation to non-established methods, according to the authors, one should be particularly cautious and wait for the results of studies proving effectiveness.

Magdalena Charbicka, director of the JiM Therapy Center


NAC is an organization focused on promoting evidence-based treatments for people with autism. With the above report published in 2009, national standards for effective treatment of children and adolescents with ASD in the United States are being developed.

You can read the full text of the report HERE .


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